Phone: (202) 721-4640

1775 I Street N.W.

Washington, DC 20006-2401

John Townsend



Current Employer:

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Areas of Expertise:

✔ Antitrust ✔ Commercial/Business
✔ Contract Disputes ✔ Intellectual Property
✔ International ✔ Joint Ventures
✔ Licensing ✔ Partnerships
✔ Pharmaceuticals ✔ Shareholder Disputes
✔ Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Disputes


Service as arbitrator in more than 75 arbitrations seated in New York, Washington, Houston, Ann Arbor, Chicago, London, The Hague, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Reykjavik, and Singapore, including eight investment treaty arbitrations; Submitted two amicus curiae briefs to the US Supreme Court on behalf of professors and practitioners of arbitration law in BG Group PLC v. Argentina; Represented American Arbitration Association in 11th Circuit appeal involving issues of arbitral immunity; Served as advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Bahrain concerning drafting of the 2009 Arbitration Law; Submitted amicus curiae brief to the US Supreme Court on behalf of the American Arbitration Association in Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Randolph.

Work History:

Partner and Co-Chair of the Arbitration Practice Group at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in Washington, DC. With Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York, Paris, and Washington, DC since 1971.


Counsel for Ukrainian investors in five arbitrations against the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) arising out of measures carried out after the Russian annexation of Crimea; Counsel for Canada in two arbitrations captioned United States of America v. Canada under the Softwood Lumber Agreement of 2006 and the LCIA Rules; Counsel for investor in expropriation claim against the Russian Federation in BIT arbitration in Stockholm that secured the first award holding that the Russian measures taken against Yukos Oil Company amounted to expropriation; Counsel for an American company in ICC Arbitration in Paris and related European Commission proceedings involving a chemical technology license dispute with a Spanish former joint venture partner; Counsel for an American manufacturer in arbitration under Netherlands Arbitration Institute rules concerning a contract to build a major chemical plant in Rotterdam; Counsel for a German company in AAA arbitration in Seattle concerning the validity of a patent and technology license under European competition law; Counsel for a major New York educational institution in AAA arbitration concerning construction of its library.


Multiple AAA arbitrator training courses, both as student and as faculty.


Member of the bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia. Admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States and multiple federal courts.


Benchmark and Expert Guides Global Commercial Arbitration Awards, "Arbitrator of the Year: United States" (2014); Ranked in the first tier by Chambers USA as one of the top international arbitration lawyers and arbitrators in the US; Ranked by Chambers Global as one of the top international arbitration lawyers in the world; Included in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of International Arbitration; Recognized in The International Who's Who of Arbitration Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigation Lawyers, and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers; Recognized by The Legal 500 United States as one of the top lawyers in the category of international arbitration;


Appointed by President George W. Bush as one of the American members of the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) (2008 - 2016); Member of AAA Commercial, International and Class Arbitration panels; the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Panel of Energy Arbitrators; LCIA panel; World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) List of Neutrals; Lists of Arbitrators of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, and the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association.


Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) from 2007 to 2010; Chair of the Executive Committee of the AAA from 2004 to 2007; Chair of the AAA's Law Committee 2015 to the present. Member and a Vice President of the Court of Arbitration of the LCIA 2014 to the present. First chair of the Mediation Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) 2005-2006.


B.A. Yale University 1968 J.D. Yale Law School 1971


"Protection of Communications with Company Lawyers: The Last Gap in the Common Law – Civil Law Divide in Arbitration" (with James H. Boykin), Festschrift for Siegfried H. Elsing on His 65th Birthday, edited by Werner F. Ebke, Dirk Olzen, Otto Sandrock, R&W Fachmedien Recht und Wirtschaft, 2015; "When the BIT hits the FAA: U.S. Courts Confront Conditions Precedent in Bilateral Investment Treaties," Contemporary Issues in International Arbitration and Mediation, the Fordham Papers, edited by Arthur W. Rovine, Brill Nijhoff, 2014; "Promoting Peace Before Conflict: Integrating Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution into the Arbitration Process," Arbitration Advocacy in Changing Times, edited by Albert Jan Van Den Berg, International Council for Commercial Arbitration, Series No. 15, 2011; "The Rise and Fall of Class Arbitration," AAA Yearbook on Arbitration & the Law, 23rd Edition, edited by Stephen K. Huber and Ben H. Sheppard Jr., Juris Publishing Inc., 2011; "Arbitrating US Antitrust Law in Pharmaceuticals Markets" (with Robert Reznick), in EC and US Antitrust Arbitration, edited by G. Blanke and P. Landolt, Kluwer/Aspen, 2011; "The New Bahrain Arbitration Law and the Bahrain 'Free Arbitration Zone,'" Dispute Resolution Journal, February-April 2010; "Crossing the Hot Tub: Examining Adverse Expert Witnesses in International Arbitration," Take the Witness, Juris Publishing, 2010; "Extending an Arbitration Clause to a Non-Signatory Claimant or a Non-Signatory Defendant: Does it Make a Difference?" Dossiers of the Institute N° VII,ICC Institute, 2010; "Non-Signatories in International Arbitration – An American Perspective," International Arbitration 2006: Back to Basics, International Council for Commercial Arbitration Congress series No. 13, 2007; "State Court Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements," Report to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, 2006; "Holding the Fort Until the Arbitrators Are Appointed: The New ICDR International Emergency Rule" (with Ben H. Sheppard, Jr.), Dispute Resolution Journal, 2006; "Arbitrator Neutrality and Disclosure: The End of the 'American Problem,'" Journal of International Dispute Resolution - IDR, 2005; "Clash and Convergence on Ethical Issues in International Arbitration," Inter-American Law Review, 2004; "Revised Code of Ethics for Commercial Arbitrators Explained" (with Bruce Meyerson), Dispute Resolution Journal, 2004; "Commentary on the July 2003 Revisions to the AAA Commercial Arbitration Rules" (with Paul D. Friedland), Dispute Resolution Journal, 2003/2004; "Drafting Arbitration Clauses: Avoiding the 7 Deadly Sins," Dispute Resolution Journal, 2003; "Arbitration Across the Civil Law – Common Law Divide" (with Siegfried Elsing), Arbitration International, 2002; included in ADR & The Law, 17th Edition; "Recent Developments in NAFTA Arbitration," ADR Currents, 2001; "Commercial Arbitration in the United States: The Legal Structure," NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes, Mexico City, 1999; "Commercial Mediation and Arbitration in the NAFTA Countries," JurisNet 1999.


Served on committees that drafted the AAA’s International Arbitration Rules, Supplementary Rules for Class Arbitrations, and ICDR Guidelines for Arbitrators Concerning Exchanges of Information; Represented the AAA in working with the ABA on the 2004 revision of the AAA/ABA Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes; Member of CPR’s Challenge Review Board, and served on the committee that drafted the CPR Rules for Non-Administered Arbitration.


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